What Does Martyrdom Lore Tell Us?

Publication Date: January 2009

Publisher: Association for Jewish Studies; Association for Jewish Studies

Author(s): Miriam Bodian; Miriam Bodian

Research Area: Culture and religion; Social conditions

Keywords: History; Religion; Sephardic Jews; Judaic Studies

Type: Report


The author describes how Inquisition documents can serve to corroborate and/or contradict stories of crypto-Jewish martyrdom that circulated in the Portuguese-Jewish diaspora. She examines one particular story in order to illuminate the discussion. Besides confirming names and dates of martyrdoms referenced in crypto-Jewish lore, the author notes, Inquisition documents can also confirm that some crypto-Jewish martyrs posessed enough theological knowledge to acquit themselves well in theological debates with Inquisitors.